Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Poetry Sue Vincent, #Fantasy Vashti Quiroz-Vega, #Shortstories Sally Cronin


Welcome to the Wednesday edition of the Cafe updates with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author is Sue Vincent with a recent review for her poetry collection Life Lines.

About the Collection.

“The pen paints the souls longing in jewel tones.”

A collection of fifty-two poems of life, love and inspiration.

There are joys for which we cannot find expression, moments that have a depth of emotion that can only be shared in images. It is here that poetry comes into its own, for the pictures we paint with words can conjure all the emotions of the human heart. From solitude to passion, from aspiration to the quest for the soul’s inner light, we seek to find ways to share our journey through life, to witness our footsteps as we pass through its shifting sands and cast a reflection on time itself. The poet is both mirror and reflection, framing the images of a human life and giving them a beating heart.

One of the recent reviews for Life Lines

Balroop Singh 5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite poetry Reviewed in the United States on February 16, 2021

Life Lines’ by Sue Vincent highlights the paths of life we traverse – from innocent laughter to the snowy lanes of life, from the depths of sorrow to the light that beckons us, from the abyss of tears to the memories that pull us out; whether it is past or present, life is woven with delicate threads that bind us into a “purpose” and inspire us to “fall in love with life at every passing day.”

Sue’s poetry flows like a steady stream that takes in all the upheavals in its stride and absorbs them, keeping the hope alive. She has a unique style of playing with the symbols that reach your heart:
“flames caress the moon,” for the glow of sunset,
“scattered motes of possibility in the darkness,” for the stars,
“two ravens” for thought and memory, “winter leaf” for self,
“heart-beat of earth” for sea,
“shadows in the glass” for joy and pain.

While ‘Flowers’ brilliantly captures the journey of a woman, ‘I’ emphasizes how the choices of life are snatched away from us unawares! ‘Door of Dreams’ exhorts us to rise from our inner world to “face the demons of today” and look beyond. There are many such poems that would inspire you to keep the flame of hope aloft. I felt ‘Sunset’ could be one of my favorites but then ‘Just One’ mesmerized me with the thoughts of how many kinds of love encompasses us. Each poem exudes an emotion, profound yet subtle.

The poems in this collection need to be savored slowly, to be re-read with sips of your favorite tea, coffee or wine. Highly recommended.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: Amazon UK –  And: Amazon US

A selection of Sue’s books and those written with Stuart France.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UKand: Amazon USBlog: S.C. VincentGoodreads:Sue Vincent – Twitter:@SCVincent

The nextg author with a recent review is Vashti Quiroz-Vega for The Rise of Gadreel (Fantasy Angels Series Book 3)

About the book

In The Fall of Lilith, award-winning author Vashti Quiroz-Vega took readers inside the gates of heaven for a front-row seat to Lucifer’s rebellion. In Son of the Serpent, she introduced Dracúl, tormented offspring of fallen angels. Now, in The Rise of Gadreel, Quiroz-Vega is back with the next chapter in her Fantasy Angels saga—a gripping tale of hope and redemption set against the fiery backdrop of a demon’s insatiable thirst for power and revenge.

Lilith is gone, suffering the torments of the damned in hell. Satan, once known as Lucifer, endures endless agony in an earthly prison. Yet their foul legacy lives on, spread by a corrupted priesthood that uses the blackest magic to fan the flames of evil and hate throughout the world.

The former angel Gadreel, who fought and fell alongside Lilith and Lucifer, only to join Dracúl in his fight against them, is weary of war. Repenting of past sins, she wants nothing more than to be left in peace. But when a new threat to humankind arises, Gadreel is given the chance she has prayed for—the chance to earn God’s forgiveness.

Now, with the aid of Dracúl and a trio of uncanny allies—a man of air, a man of stone, and a woman of fire—at her side, Gadreel must find the courage to confront her past and forge a new future for herself . . . and the world.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Colleen M. Chesebro 5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting characters you will not forget! A soul-satisfying read!  Reviewed in the United States on February 20, 2021

The Rise of Gadreel is the third and final book in Vashti Q. Vega’s Fantasy Angel Series.

Using the blackest of magic, Lucifer, a.k.a. Satan figures a way out of his earthly prison by infiltrating a corrupt priesthood. As expected, it isn’t long before a terrible new evil invades the world.

Tired of the fight, Gadreel only wants to repent her past sins and find peace. She seeks God’s forgiveness, regretting her decision to fight alongside Lilith and Lucifer and the other fallen angels. She knows it’s now up to her and Dracúl to fight this new terror and to save humanity.

Along with a trio of extraordinary allies—a man of air, a man of stone, and a woman of fire—at her side, Gadreel finds the courage to defy her past and create a new future for herself and the world.

I’ve loved each book in this series, but Gadreel’s story was the most soul satisfying for me. The writing is riveting, and I read long into the night. The author weaves her magic by combining historical facts from the Dark Ages, along with a few tales from the Bible to create a story like no other.

Written from both the protagonist and antagonist views, the reader glimpses the battle between good and evil first hand—but not for the faint of heart. There were a few parts that made me squirm. Yet, in the end, I was sad to let the characters go. A must read unforgettable series!

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK

Also by Vashti Quiroz Vega

Read the reviews and buy the books :Amazon US and : Amazon UK – Follow Vashti : Goodreads – website:Vashti – WordPress – Twitter: @VashtiQV

And finally I would like to share one of the recent reviews for my latest book.. Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet.

Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet by [Sally Cronin]

About the collection

Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet is a collection of short stories with scattered poetry, reflecting the complexities of life, love and loss.

The stories in the collection dip into the lives of men and women who are faced with an ‘event’ that is challenging and in some cases life changing.

Even something as straightforward as grocery shopping online can be frustrating, and a DNA test produces surprise results, the past reaches out to embrace the present, and a gardening assistant is an unlikely grief counsellor. Romance is not always for the faint-hearted and you are never too old for love. Random acts of kindness have far reaching consequences and some people discover they are on a lucky streak. There are those watching over us who wish us well, and those in our lives who wish us harm.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK – And : Amazon US

One of the recent reviews for the book

Feb 22, 2021 Alex Craigie rated it five stars it was amazing
Until the pandemic struck, I only read full-length novels. I thought that short stories might be shallow and unsatisfying in comparison. When we went into lockdown, here was my chance to get on with some meaty reading. But I couldn’t. I’ve been restless and unfocussed and when Sally Cronin’s Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries was recommended to me I decided to give it a go. How wrong I’d been about short stories!
I loved this book. The sub heading of Sometimes bitter, Sometimes Sweet is apt as the stories covered a wide range of experiences and each one touched me in different ways. Sally Cronin understands people. Her descriptions of relationships will strike a chord with everyone who reads this collection.
The tone varies, which added to the pleasure for me: wry, humorous, sad, reflective, vengeful, sweet. Some of the characters I positively enjoyed disliking and it was immensely satisfying when they got their comeuppance, others squeezed my heart but I was never left without hope for them.
The plots were neat, too. The first in the book was delightful, very funny but also a touch macabre. Gaffer Tape managed to condense a whole novel of abuse into a few powerful pages with an ending that made me want to cheer. Animals feature in some of these tales and Sally’s love of creatures is evident in the closely observed behaviours and in their impact upon humans. The story about the badly treated guard dog was one of my favourites and left me moved by the innate goodness evident in most people.
Scattered like precious gems throughout the book are exquisite poems. These aren’t rambling sagas; they’re expertly crafted delights that follow strict rules such as the syllabic form of cinquains. The results are stunning in their ability to condense a world of meaning into a few considered words.
I’m a convert now and will be looking out for more collections of short stories by this amazing author.

My other books

Read the reviews and buy the books: :Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – Follow Sally on Goodreads:Goodreads – Blog: Smorgasbord InvitationTwitter: @sgc58 – Facebook: Sally Cronin – LinkedIn: Sally Cronin
Thanks for visiting today and I hope you will be leaving with some books.. thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – #Reviews #Fantasy Vashti Quiroz-Vega, #Dystopian Teri Polen, #WWII Paulette Mahurin


Welcome to the Wednesday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore updates with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author with a recent review is Vashti Quiroz-Vega for The Rise of Gadreel (Fantasy Angels Series Book 3)

About the book

In The Fall of Lilith, award-winning author Vashti Quiroz-Vega took readers inside the gates of heaven for a front-row seat to Lucifer’s rebellion. In Son of the Serpent, she introduced Dracúl, tormented offspring of fallen angels. Now, in The Rise of Gadreel, Quiroz-Vega is back with the next chapter in her Fantasy Angels saga—a gripping tale of hope and redemption set against the fiery backdrop of a demon’s insatiable thirst for power and revenge.

Lilith is gone, suffering the torments of the damned in hell. Satan, once known as Lucifer, endures endless agony in an earthly prison. Yet their foul legacy lives on, spread by a corrupted priesthood that uses the blackest magic to fan the flames of evil and hate throughout the world.

The former angel Gadreel, who fought and fell alongside Lilith and Lucifer, only to join Dracúl in his fight against them, is weary of war. Repenting of past sins, she wants nothing more than to be left in peace. But when a new threat to humankind arises, Gadreel is given the chance she has prayed for—the chance to earn God’s forgiveness.

Now, with the aid of Dracúl and a trio of uncanny allies—a man of air, a man of stone, and a woman of fire—at her side, Gadreel must find the courage to confront her past and forge a new future for herself . . . and the world.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Jan 05, 2021 D.L. Finn rated it Five Stars

As much as I loved Dracul’s struggle in the second book “The Son of the Serpent” it was Gadreel’s journey that mesmerized me in this story. A fallen angel, she now wants redemption and sets out to battle the evil threatening to take over the civilization. The relationship between Dracul and Gadreel is almost endearing as they join forces. The story is told from both sides of the battle, and I was always happy to get back to Gadreel and her new friends. Not that I didn’t appreciate the evil point of view, but there was a cruelty that rang true of how people treated each other during the dark ages that were captured very visually. Ms. Quiroz-Vega takes history and weaves biblical stories into it with a fresh take. This was a painful fight between good and evil. “The Rise of Gadreel” isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you love a well-told tale that will keep you reading late into the night, this is for you. I recommend starting at the beginning, so you understand how the characters developed. I highly recommend this book and series.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK

Also by Vashti Quiroz Vega

Read the reviews and buy the books :Amazon US – and : Amazon UK –  Follow Vashti : Goodreads – website:Vashti – WordPress – Twitter: @VashtiQV

The next author today is Teri Polen with a recent review for The Colony Series Book One – Subject A36

About the book

If genetic engineering could guarantee you and your family perfect health and unparalleled beauty, would you pay top dollar for it? Would you kill for it?

Residents of the Colony would. And do.

Only the Insurgents can stop them.

Seventeen-year-old Asher Solomon is a premier operative with the Insurgents. He and his team have rescued countless hostages, saving them from painful deaths in Colony labs as desirable genetic traits are stripped from their bodies.

He’s also suffered more losses than anyone should have to.

Then Asher gets intel that might give his people the upper hand. The Colony is searching for Subject A36. If the Insurgents determine the subject’s identity first, they might be able to turn the tide of the war.

Asher and his team embark on their riskiest mission ever, and the stakes have never been higher. But even if he survives the physical dangers, the devastating secrets he uncovers might destroy him.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Balroop Singh 5.0 out of 5 stars An engaging story!  Reviewed in the United States on December 31, 2020

Subject A36 by Teri Polen is a brilliant take on futuristic experiments that could allure many ambitious scientists who live in their self-created bubble of plucking everything from nature to manipulate it for the mighty and the rich. It is harrowing to imagine that “The Colony” kidnaps children to strip them of their coveted genes to create “perfect humans” for those who could pay the price!

This book engages you from page one and keeps you on the edge of your chair to read – what next? I couldn’t put it down and each time it revealed something new, I muttered wow! Written in a simple but eloquent style, Polen doesn’t waste a word in unnecessary descriptions; she focuses on the story and the outcome of action.
“Harvesting” – a shuddering term in connection with human beings but it lies at the center of this book, which gets darker as it proceeds.

Despite its theme, this book draws its strength from the emotional aspect of the story, which keeps you assured with the conviction that goodness can never be rooted out; there would always be kind people like Brynn, Noah and Paige. Love would remain the ultimate conquering force. It’s the love of Asher and Brynn, the friendship and benevolence of Asher, Noah and his team, the goodness of Garrett Solomon that shines in the abyss of darkness. I detest “The Colony” and there lies the success of Polen in crafting the perfect villains that live in it. I am eagerly looking forward to its sequel.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK

Also by Teri Polen

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Read the reviews and buy the books : Amazon US – And:Amazon UK – Follow Teri: Goodreads – website: Teri PolenTwitter: @Tpolen6

The final book today with a recent review is Where Irises Never Grow by Paulette Mahurin

About the book

With courage, depth, and passionate insight, bestselling author Paulette Mahurin captures the horrors of the German occupation of France. Where Irises Never Grow tells the story of how one book that escaped Nazi confiscation moved through time holding a cryptic note.

Unraveling its mystery brings the reader to Lyon, France. It is there war, in all its bloodstained pathos, is witnessed through the escalating cruelty of the Vichy regime. Particularly impacted is the Legrand family. Thrown into a whirlwind of turmoil they struggle to help the Resistance while maintaining deceitful relations with the government. As the Nazis move toward occupying southern France, the duplicity unravels along with all the Legrands are protecting.

Their struggle is raw. Uplifting. Nothing is held back in depicting the horrors inflicted on innocent people by the corrupt tyrannical despots. But this is more than a story of war. It is a story of friendship and loyalty. Of love and sacrifices. And choices for ultimately it is a story that shines a light on the fundamental urge by decent human beings to do right by another, to stand tall no matter the risk when millions stood silent. Where Irises Never Grow will linger in the readers gut and mind long after the last page is finished.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Lisa alleva 5.0 out of 5 stars Paulette Mahurins Best Work To Date  Reviewed in the United States on January 14, 2021

I’ve read a handful of books from Paulette, and have loved every one of them, but with Where Irises Never Grow she’s topped herself. I enjoy taking a journey with writers, and not just within their stories but with them as a writer, from the first book to the last one, each writer gets better in their craft, and Where Irises Never Grow is proof positive of this assumption. If I could give another star to this latest book I would. This isn’t to say the authors previous books were not good, because that would be a falsity, I’m referring to an incredible writers growth into something more. Paulette has a way of weaving tragedy into depths of character development, using history through a modern lens to reflect the tyranny and hope that exists within human hearts. An excellent piece of literature, you need to follow this author.

Read the reviews and buy the book:Amazon US –  And: Amazon UK

A selection of other books by Paulette Mahurin

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Profits from Pauline’s books go to help rescue dogs from kill shelters.

Read the reviews and buy the booksAmazon US – And :Amazon UK – follow Paulette  : Goodreads – Blog: The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap on WordPressTwitter: @MahurinPaulette

 

Thank you for visiting today and I hope you will be leaving with some books.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Release – #Western #Romance Sandra Cox, #Fantasy Vashti Quiroz-Vega, – Review #Poetry Balroop Singh


Welcome to the first of the Cafe and Bookstore updates this week and some new releases and reviews.

The first author with a new release is Sandra Cox with a western romance – Gwen Slade: Bounty Hunter.

About the book

Bounty hunter Gwen Slade always gets her man. Until she meets charming outlaw Jordie Kidd.

After Jordie saves her family, she finds she can’t in good conscience turn him in, even if he is worth a thousand dollars dead or alive. Instead she sets her sights on the meanest, most-wanted gang in Kansas. Gwen always works alone until she goes after the gang then finds herself partnering with an unlikely source.

This time around, not only her life, but her heart is on the line.

One of the early reviews for the book

D.L. Finn5.0 out of 5 stars This is an exciting Western romance that I didn’t want to end! Reviewed in the United States on December 17, 2020

Gwen is a young woman who’s raising her little brother with the help of a family friend, Chen. She took after her father, who was a Bounty Hunter. After a job, she comes home to a man who saved her family from a would-be robber. The hero, Jordie, leaves the minute the sheriff arrives. Gwen finds out that Jordie is wanted, but she doesn’t go after him after saving her family. Gwen wants to move to Montana and start a new life on a horse ranch, so she takes the job of catching three of the worst outlaw brothers.

I love Gwen’s strength and ability to take care of herself in a time when women were more dependent on men. Promising one last job to her little brother, she sets off, against the sheriff’s advice, to catch her outlaws and earn her big retirement payoff. She ends up with an unexpected partner. I love the relationship that develops between them on the trail.

There are great conversations and plenty of action. As the two learn about each other, a dog finds them. You can’t help but fall in love with these amazing characters or the dog. I didn’t expect a couple of twists, and the scenery was detailed, making me feel like I was along on the ride. This is an exciting Western romance that I didn’t want to end, but it did and very satisfactorily. I hope we aren’t done hearing from Gwen Slade. She’s a wonderful heroine. I highly recommend “Gwen Slade, Bounty Hunter.”

Read the reviews and buy the bookAmazon US – And: Amazon UK

A small selection of Sandra’s books

Read the reviews andbuy the books : Amazon UK –And: Amazon US- follow Sandra Cox: Goodreads – Blog: Sandra Cox Blogspot – Twitter:@Sandra_Cox

The next author with a new book is Vashti Quiroz-Vega and The Rise of Gadreel (Fantasy Angels Series Book 3)

About the book

In The Fall of Lilith, award-winning author Vashti Quiroz-Vega took readers inside the gates of heaven for a front-row seat to Lucifer’s rebellion. In Son of the Serpent, she introduced Dracúl, tormented offspring of fallen angels. Now, in The Rise of Gadreel, Quiroz-Vega is back with the next chapter in her Fantasy Angels saga—a gripping tale of hope and redemption set against the fiery backdrop of a demon’s insatiable thirst for power and revenge.

Lilith is gone, suffering the torments of the damned in hell. Satan, once known as Lucifer, endures endless agony in an earthly prison. Yet their foul legacy lives on, spread by a corrupted priesthood that uses the blackest magic to fan the flames of evil and hate throughout the world.

The former angel Gadreel, who fought and fell alongside Lilith and Lucifer, only to join Dracúl in his fight against them, is weary of war. Repenting of past sins, she wants nothing more than to be left in peace. But when a new threat to humankind arises, Gadreel is given the chance she has prayed for—the chance to earn God’s forgiveness.

Now, with the aid of Dracúl and a trio of uncanny allies—a man of air, a man of stone, and a woman of fire—at her side, Gadreel must find the courage to confront her past and forge a new future for herself . . . and the world.

Head over to buy the book: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK

Also by Vashti Quiroz Vega

One of the recent reviews for Son of the Serpent Book two of the Angel Series

Gwendolyn Plano5.0 out of 5 stars A story well-written and fiercely told… Reviewed in the United States on November 28, 2020

Author Quiroz-Vega’s second book of the Angels Series is powerful. It hits hard and runs, never stopping. I had to pause to take a breath and separate myself from some of the drama, but I felt compelled to read to the end. This remake of the Biblical story is curious but also believable. Well edited, well researched, I commend Quiroz-Vega on tackling this epic story.

Read the reviews and buy the books :Amazon US – and : Amazon UK –  Follow Vashti : Goodreads – website:Vashti – WordPress – Twitter: @VashtiQV

Now time for a recent review

And the final book today is the poetry collection Timeless Echoes by Balroop Singh with a recent review.

About the collection

Certain desires and thoughts remain within our heart, we can’t express them, we wait for the right time, which never comes till they make inroads out of our most guarded fortresses to spill on to the pages of our choice. This collection is an echo of that love, which remained obscure, those yearnings that were suppressed, the regrets that we refuse to acknowledge. Many poems seem personal because they are written in first person but they have been inspired from the people around me – friends and acquaintances who shared their stories with me.

Some secrets have to remain buried because they are ours
We do share them but only with the stars
The tears that guarded them were as precious as flowers
Soothing like balm on festering scars.

While there are no boxes for grief and joy, some persons in our life are more closely associated with these emotions. Their separation shatters us, their memories echo, we grieve but life does not stagnate for anyone…it is more like a river that flows despite the boulders. When imagination and inspiration try to offer solace, poetry that you are about to read springs forth.

A recent review for the collection

D. W. Peach 5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful poetry  Reviewed in the United States on December 13, 2020

I’ve read Singh’s poetry books Magical Whispers, and Moments We Love, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed. So, I decided to travel back in time a couple of years and dive into an older collection. The poems of Timeless Echoes reflect the poet’s same beautiful voice and reflective musings with a slightly more formal style.

The poems struck me as personal, a sharing of the many facets of love and relationships – the joys, but also the regrets and hurts, those which we carry with us, examine with older eyes, and come to know in a new way or let go. My favorites were the more free-flowing poems that struck a personal chord: Ageless Echoes, Illusional Calm, New Life, and A Letter. This generous collection of nearly sixty poems can be easily read in an afternoon, though they deserve to be savored.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – And:Amazon UK

Also by Balroop Singh

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Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and : Amazon UK – Follow Balroop : Goodreads – blog: Balroop Singh on WordPress – Twitter@BalroopShado

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books.. thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Releases #Fantasy Fiona Tarr, Reviews -#Adventure Audrey Driscoll, #Fantasy Vashti Quiroz-Vega


This week the Cafe and Bookstore has slipped by a day due to the Halloween posts…with a new release and recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

Delighted to add a new book by Fiona Tarr to the shelves Shiloh Rising – The Priestess Chronicles – Volume 3 – On offer for 99c/77p during November

About the book

An ancient relic, an evil power, a magical priestess. As they collide, the fearless, no-holds-barred battle erupts.

Ariela is surprised when she arrives in Carthage in yet another unknown time reality. Her mission is guided by ancient divinity and no-one is expecting her—or so she thinks. Those who await her are members of her Mother’s ancient Priestess Order. But she quickly realises, all is not as innocent and welcoming as it seems.

Carthage is warring over religion and politics. The conflict reveals truths Ariela isn’t expecting. But when the Priestess discovers she is to assassinate the King and that her Mother’s ancient order has been dabbling in politics, she is enraged. Order must be restored.

When the Priestess’s friend Ophelia senses an evil relic of power, Ariela realises politics are the least of her worries. She must stop the evil spirit that inhabits the relic before she is forced to kill the man who wears it, whether she wants to or not.

Head over to buy the book at 99c during November: Amazon US – And for 77p: Amazon UK

Also by Fiona Tarr

One of the reviews for Reign of Retribution

Sherrie Hansen VINE VOICE 5.0 out of 5 stars The Sacrifices Made for True Love  Reviewed in the United States on June 11, 2020

I thoroughly enjoyed Fiona Tarr’s latest book, propelled by the theme of love and the sacrifices we are sometimes asked to make for true love. As Princess Sheba struggles to find her way in the brutal world of Old Testament times, warring kingdoms and religious conflicts, she is thrown into a battle of good and evil, zealots, idolators, opposing dieties, arch angels and believers of the one true God. Many facets of love are explored – love of family and the loyalty that comes with it, love of carnal pleasures and selfish pursuits, love of God, misguided love, and the romantic pull of true love. The characters are either noble, endearing and admirable, or cruel, twisted and hateful, and both will hold your attention to the end. The goal is to preserve the line of David, from which the Redeemer will come to save mankind. With the stakes so high, yet seemingly impossible, you will read with tears in your eyes, even for believers who know the final outcome firsthand. Thought-provoking and highly recommended.

Read the reviews and Buy: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK Follow Fiona: GoodreadsWebsite :A Time 2 Write –  Twitter: @FionaTarr

And the first author today with a recent review is Audrey Driscoll for her latest book Tales from the Annexe: seven stories from the Herbert West Series and seven other tales

About the collection

Seven stories from the world of Audrey Driscoll’s Herbert West Series, followed by seven other tales of illusions, delusions, and mysteries on the edges of logic. Discover Herbert West’s connections to Egypt, and how a dead man can help solve a mystery. Share Charles Milburn’s ruminations as he explores another dimension of his friendship with Herbert. Sample the treats on offer from an ice cream truck from Hell. Ride along with a dad who abandoned his ten-year-old son in the woods where something howls. Find out why a woman paints her bedroom a very special colour. Watch fifteen-year-old Ann as she tries to prove she belongs to the glamorous family on the other side of town. These and seven other curious encounters may be found in this annexe to the ordinary.

A recent review for the collection

D. W. Peach 4.0 out of 5 stars For Herbert West fans  Reviewed in the United States on October 13, 2020

I jumped into this collection of stories despite never having read H.P. Lovecraft or Driscoll’s novels based on the HPL character Herbert West. That may have been a mistake since the first seven stories are “by products” of Driscoll’s Herbert West novels. Without knowledge of the original stories, I had a difficult time following the narratives.

Don’t get me wrong. Driscoll is talented, and these are beautifully written tales. The prose is polished, and the characters have distinct voices and believable sentiments. I’d characterize the style as literary fiction with a turn-of-the-century tone. I suspect that Herbert West fans will appreciate the connections.

The final five stories are stand-alone speculative fiction tales, and I thoroughly enjoyed them. My favorites were The Colour of Magic and A Howling in the Woods, though I recommend them all. Each tale is unique, and they range from creepy to bone-chilling!

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK

Audrey Driscoll, Buy:Amazon US – And:  Amazon UK – follow Audrey: Goodreads – Website:Audrey Driscoll – LinkedIn: Audrey Driscoll

The final author today is Vashti Quiroz-Vega with a recent review for Son of the Serpent (Fantasy Angels Series)

About Son of the Serpent

In Son of the Serpent, award-winning author Vashti Quiroz-Vega crafts another fascinating glimpse into the dark, compelling world of fallen angels and demons, revealing more about their untold stories.

The war in heaven might be over, but the ambitions of the fallen angel Lilith reach far across the roots of history. Will there be a being powerful enough to stop her evil influence before the destruction of mankind?

Dracúl knows he is the son of Satan, but the rest of his memory has been taken from him. Alone and frightened, he awakens in a forest, beginning a quest to piece together who he is. The world he encounters is cruel, but he yearns to belong and find companionship. With each step he takes, another missing piece of his memory falls into place, revealing a truth that is ever more troubling . . .

A truth that will turn his quest for meaning into one fueled by the hot-blooded thirst for revenge. A truth that leads him to Lilith, the most wicked and ruthless of fallen angels and one he soon will have every reason to hate. His quest will consume him, perhaps ruin his life, but somehow Dracúl is determined to find both belonging and vengeance—to be good, in spite of his evil nature and the dark secrets that haunt him every step of the way.

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Sep 27, 2020 Yvette Calleiro rated it five stars

I absolutely loved book one, but I honestly think I love this book even more. I felt sorry for Lilith in book one, and I completely loathed her in this book. The author does a phenomenal job of allowing you to see the evil that festers and flourishes within Lilith. She also brilliantly draws you in to feel compassion and empathy for Dracul on his journey to not only fit in but to also rid the world of his horrific mother. And then, there’s Gadreel (still my favorite character…lol!). The author’s use of this character to guide the story into each situation was fantastic.

I loved how the author pulled stories from the bible and effortlessly wove these characters into the major game-changing scenes of history. The seamless story-telling shows that the author did her research to make sure the story held true to its historical depiction while also allowing her characters the flexibility to shape those moments in time.

I cannot wait to read book three, Gadreel’s story. After reading this book, I’m even more excited to read it. I highly recommend this book (and series) to anyone who enjoys well-written stories with cleverly crafted characters whose struggles will make you fight for their survival and success. 🙂

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US and  Amazon UK

Also by Vashti Quiroz Vega

Vashti Quiroz- Vega, Buy:Amazon US – and : Amazon UK –  Follow Vashti : Goodreads – website:Vashti – WordPress – Twitter: @VashtiQV

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Summer 2020- Pot Luck – Poetry Friday ~ Wild Fire by Vashti Quiroz-Vega


To finish off this current series of posts from your archives, author Vashti Quiroz-Vega share two posts that I am sure you will find as interesting as I did.

For this second post I have chosen one from January of this year which has recent relevance as the fires in California have been another reminder of the power of nature.

Poetry Friday ~ Wild Fire

Hi, everyone! Welcome.

Since September, 17.9 million acres of Australia have burned in one of the country’s worst fire seasons on record. That’s an area larger than West Virginia, and more than eight times the area that burned in California in 2018, the state’s most destructive year for wildfires.

The fires have now killed at least 27 people and destroyed almost 2,000 homes. The blazes turned skies orange and made breathing the air in Sydney as bad as smoking 37 cigarettes. Those are just the impacts on people. The destruction of the country’s land and biodiversity is harder to fathom. An estimated 1 billion animals have been lost, and scientists fear long-term damage to many sensitive ecosystems.

Though rain brought firefighters a slight reprieve Wednesday, the AP reports that hot and windy conditions that will keep the fires burning are expected to return later this week.

It’s a disaster that’s particularly ominous: In a warming world, extreme fire events like this one will only grow more likely to occur. – Australia Fires: 7 Things Everyone Should Know About The Brushfire Disaster.

Photograph by Cris Saur @crisaur

What is happening in Australia right now is devastating. I feel terrible for the families that have lost loved ones and are suffering through this hellish brushfire disaster. The number of animals that have perished in the fire is perturbing. 1 Billion animals dead! The firefighters that are putting their lives at risk every day battling the flames are amazing. It is easy to feel helpless, especially if you live on the other side of the planet, but there are things we could do to help.

  • If you’re in Australia, Givit has a list of specific items needed by people and organizations affected by the bushfires.
  • People with emergency response training can sign up to volunteer in Queensland.
  • The World Wildlife Fund is collecting donations to restore habitats for koalas impacted by the fires.
  • You can donate to the Australian Red Cross’s fire recovery and relief fund.
  • You can also donate directly to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, , the  Country Fire Service Foundation in South Australia, and the  Country Fire Authority in Victoria.

Photograph by Mark Galer @markgaler

Colleen’s 2020 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 159, #Poet’sChoice

I chose to share this beautiful and heart-wrenching poem by Philip Salom dedicated to the men and women who fight these fires. Below is part one of the poem. You can read the rest of it here.

Bushfire

As if going into battle, the knapsack 
full on my shoulders, its pipe and nozzle
slung up like a rifle.
We fought along the river, seeing shrubs
explode, riddled with fire,
eerie sounds of trees shrieking
like things alive, feral, flames like faces
spilling down into the ferns.
We staggered, sick with the hammering heat,
dousing endless flames that slammed at us
 like nightmares, sullen ghosts
groping at our limbs. We plunged
into that day's red thunder, 
subsumed like suiciders who stare into
the rifle, gulp the flame. Individuals
meandering in something huge.
We choked in smoking semi-darkness,
shadows through the lead-coloured
air of limbo.

Now the aching blistering weight
of the knapsack pulling my shoulders.
Exhaustion worries the scorched end
of some unity: thought and action
fused into one. Sagging now,
heavier than the slopping drums
behind the tractors coming in.
We see the new men walking in
and seem to meet our earlier selves
but are more certain and more tired.
I, older than my youth, seeing these men
as if they were children.

Photograph by Liam Pozz @liampozz

Thanks to Vashti for letting me share – Thanks for the visit, and feel free to leave your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below.  

About Vashti Quiroz -Vega

Vashti Quiroz-Vega is a writer of Fantasy, Horror, and Thriller. Since she was a kid she’s always had a passion for writing and telling stories. It has always been easier for her to express her thoughts on paper.

She enjoys reading almost as much as she loves to write. Some of her favorite authors are Stephen King, Michael Crichton, Anne Rice, J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling and George R. R. Martin.

She enjoys making people feel an array of emotions with her writing. She likes her audience to laugh one moment, cry the next and clench their jaws after that.

When she isn’t building extraordinary worlds and fleshing out fascinating characters, she enjoys spending time with her husband JC and her Pomeranian Scribbles who is also her writing buddy.

Books by Vashti Quiroz Vega

 

One of the recent reviews for Fall of Lilith

Amazon Reader 4.0 out of 5 stars An immersive fantasy with a new take on an old story  Reviewed in the United States on May 7, 2020

I really enjoyed this immersive fantasy read. It’s based on the fall of the angels from the Old Testament, but it brings an all-new spin to the story with the role of Lilith. I was engaged by all the details of this version of Heaven, and the progression of Lilith from a relatively harmless girl to a tragic anti-hero is interesting to watch. I do wish she had a little bit more goodness in her because that would’ve made her more sympathetic as a main character. Yet I also understand the restraints of telling a story like this, in which there is clear good and evil. After the fall of the angels, the story takes us to earth, where the angels are banished. Once again, I was pleased at the combination of both familiar and unexpected elements. Overall, well written and imaginative!

Vashti Quiroz- Vega, Buy:Amazon US – and : Amazon UK –  Follow Vashti : Goodreads – website:Vashti – WordPress – Twitter: @VashtiQV

 

Thanks for dropping by and Vashti would love your feedback.. thanks  Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors – #Childrens Nicholas C. Rossis, #Fantasy Vashti Quiroz Vega, #Writing Harmony Kent


There are over 150 authors in the Cafe and Bookstore and I wanted to keep it to key pieces of information such as buying links, recent review, website and covers. However, I know that readers also like to know more about the background of authors.

In this series during June and July I will share the bios of all the authors in the cafe in a random selection. I hope that this will introduce you to the authors in more depth and encourage you to check out their books and follow them on their blog and Twitter.

Meet Nicholas C. Rossis

Nicholas C. Rossis

Nicholas C. Rossis lives to write and does so from his cottage on the edge of a magical forest in Athens, Greece. When not composing epic fantasies or short sci-fi stories, he chats with fans and colleagues, writes blog posts, and enjoys the antics of two silly cats and his baby daughter, all of whom claim his lap as home. His books have won numerous awards, including the Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award.

In addition to his best-selling series, Pearseus, he writes short science fiction/speculative fiction stories, many of which have appeared in various collections and anthologies. These include Infinite Waters, which was voted one of the best 50 Indie books of 2015.

A small selection of books by Nicholas Rossis

One of the reviews for The Runaway Smile on Goodreads

Jan 05, 2020 Istahil rated it Five Stars

The Runaway Smile is a delightful story about a young boy who wakes up one morning to find that his smile has disappeared. And so begins an eventful journey to find it and bring it back to its rightful place…his face!

If only I had this book when I was a child – I could easily imagine it being a class (and bedtime) favourite!

I love how Nicholas uses nonsensical situations to make a point about the importance of a smile (think book-reading superhero dog, a shirt-eating closet monster and salesman who sells subatomic particle accelerators!). As if the story itself wasn’t enough to make you feel all tingly and warm inside, Nicholas has teamed up with Dimitri Fousekis to bring you the most gorgeous and distinctive illustrations that bring it to life.

The Runaway Smile is so heartwarming, wholesome and will make you chuckle. I loved it and definitely think it should be a permanent fixture on the shelves of all budding bookworms.

This is the second book written by Nicholas that I had the pleasure of reading and he has yet to put a foot wrong

Nicholas Rossis, Buy: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – Blog:Nicholas RossisGoodreads: Nicholas Rossis Goodreads – Twitter: @Nicholas_Rossis

Meet Vashti Quiroz Vega

Vashti Quiroz-Vega is a writer of Fantasy, Horror, and Thriller. Since she was a kid she’s always had a passion for writing and telling stories. It has always been easier for her to express her thoughts on paper.

She enjoys reading almost as much as she loves to write. Some of her favorite authors are Stephen King, Michael Crichton, Anne Rice, J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling and George R. R. Martin.

She enjoys making people feel an array of emotions with her writing. She likes her audience to laugh one moment, cry the next and clench their jaws after that.

When she isn’t building extraordinary worlds and fleshing out fascinating characters, she enjoys spending time with her husband JC and her Pomeranian Scribbles who is also her writing buddy.

Books by Vashti Quiroz Vega

 

One of the recent reviews for Fall of Lilith

Amazon Reader 4.0 out of 5 stars An immersive fantasy with a new take on an old story  Reviewed in the United States on May 7, 2020

I really enjoyed this immersive fantasy read. It’s based on the fall of the angels from the Old Testament, but it brings an all-new spin to the story with the role of Lilith. I was engaged by all the details of this version of Heaven, and the progression of Lilith from a relatively harmless girl to a tragic anti-hero is interesting to watch. I do wish she had a little bit more goodness in her because that would’ve made her more sympathetic as a main character. Yet I also understand the restraints of telling a story like this, in which there is clear good and evil. After the fall of the angels, the story takes us to earth, where the angels are banished. Once again, I was pleased at the combination of both familiar and unexpected elements. Overall, well written and imaginative!

Vashti Quiroz- Vega, Buy:Amazon US – and : Amazon UK –  Follow Vashti : Goodreads – website:Vashti – WordPress – Twitter: @VashtiQV

Meet Harmony Kent

After spending around thirteen years as an ordained Buddhist monk, living in a Zen Buddhist temple, and six years after a life-changing injury following a surgical error, Harmony Kent returned to the world at the tender age of forty.

Now, she is famous for her laughter, and has made quite the name for herself … she’s also, um, a writer … and fairly well known for that too. She’s even won a few awards. Harmony lives in rural Cornwall with her ever-present sense of humour, adorable husband, and quirky neighbours.

Harmony is passionate about supporting her fellow authors.

A selection of books by Harmony Kent

A recent review for Creative Solutions

Robbie Cheadle 5.0 out of 5 stars A valuable writing tool  Reviewed in the United States on April 10, 2020

I read and enjoyed one of Harmony Kent’s fictional works and I was sufficiently impressed by her writing to pick up this non-fiction book about writing techniques and inspirational tools when it launched last year. I was not disappointed and learned a lot a developing good writing habits and ways of discovering inspiration for this book.

I have always edited as I write, this is largely due to the fact that I am a perfectionist and leaving something half done is difficult for me. This book encourages writers to not edit as they write but rather to ride the wave of your creativity and go back and edit later. I have tried this over the past week and have added double the words to my WIP. I didn’t not edit completely, but I did a lot less and felt I got a lot more words on paper this way. It is difficult to pick up on an incomplete idea so this advice makes perfect sense so that you get a piece of writing written down while it is fresh in your mind.

This books sets out lots of ideas for writing prompts which I find a great way of sharpening my writing skills. The author’s prompts have given me a lot of food for thought and I certainly won’t be running out of ideas in the foreseeable future. There are also great tips on using Tarot cards, horoscopes, chess boards and other items to generate ideas or to move your story along if you become bogged down or stale with your writing.

I thought this was a valuable writing tool and I will certainly be referring back to it going forward.

Harmony Kent, BuyAmazon UK – And : Amazon US –  Follow Harmony:Goodreads – Website:Harmony KentTwitter: @Harmony_Kent

Thank you for joining me today for this series and I will be sharing another three authors and their work every weekday during June and July. It would be great if you could share. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews – #Poetry Miriam Hurdle, #BritishHistory Mike Biles, #Fantasy Vashti Quiroz Vega


The first book is an award winning poetry collection Songs of the Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude written by Miriam Hurdle.

About  Songs of Heartstrings

Human being has the willpower to travel through an exhausting journey, win a tough battle, and heal a deep wound. Strength from hope keeps us going until the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight and striving until the storm is over.

This poetic memoir comprises themes ranging from the suffering through an undesirable relationship, surviving an aggressive cancer, to the happiness in true love, the joy of parenthood, and gratefulness toward the Maker. Hurdle reveals the honest self-talk and reflects a heart filled with optimism, faith and trust. She illustrates the poems with her beautiful photos and paintings.

A recent review for the collection

Pete Springer 5.0 out of 5 stars Retelling a Life Story Through Poetry   Reviewed in the United States on February 7, 2020

I’ve never had much aptitude for writing poetry, and it is not something that I usually read, but Miriam Hurdle’s Songs of Heartstrings touched me. Hurdle shares significant moments in her life through this collection of works. She divides her book into eight songs (sections). It was as if I were a part of Hurdle’s life as she shared powerful pieces demonstrating her faith, rocky first marriage, battles with melanoma cancer, finding her soulmate, and the premature birth of her daughter.

The group of songs that moved me the most were her songs of tribute. This section was more like short stories instead of poems, but they were so moving. She pays homage to her mother and father, who battled separate health issues. Miriam’s recollections of her husband’s best friend, Randy, were so touching, and I felt empathy when her husband, who never cries, sheds tears of pain for his friend’s passing.

Not only did I enjoy this varied collection of poetic styles, but I also enjoyed Hurdle’s photography and quotes from other poets/writers that introduced each group of songs. After reading Songs of Heartstrings, I will be more open-minded to other works of poetry.

Read the reviews and buy the collection also in Spanish and Portuguese: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read reviews and follow Miriam: Goodreads

Connect to Miriam via her website: The Showers of Blessings

The next author with a recent review is Mike Biles for his history of Britain that I can highly recommend.. A Bit About Britain’s History.

About A Bit about Britain’s History: From a long time ago to quite recently.

Could this short, elegant, volume be the only book on British history you’ll ever need?

A Bit About Britain’s History is for anyone who wants a serious, yet light, introduction to Britain’s amazing story. If you don’t know the basics, or would like a reminder, this book is for you. It is also perfect for those that didn’t enjoy history at school, but who have suddenly realised they’d like to understand it a bit better now.

What did the Romans achieve? How did Christianity arrive? Who are the English and why did they fight the French so often? What is Henry VIII’s greatest legacy? When did democracy start and people get the vote? Why on earth did Britain get involved in WW1?

Organised clearly and chronologically, A Bit About Britain’s History covers every period from a long time ago until quite recently. It begins by briefly mentioning that the place was once inhabited by extremely large lizards, and ends up with a post-war 20th century consumer society. Brief articles explain the essential aspects of Britain’s past, including how the ancestors of its current inhabitants arrived, how they fought each other, formed nations, fell out over religion, acquired a large empire, became gradually more democratic, helped win a couple of world wars and were left wondering what to do next. At the end of the book are detailed timelines for each period, which provide useful reference and make fascinating reading in their own right.

A Bit About Britain’s History might be the only book on British history you’ll ever need; or it might be your stepping stone to more in-depth academic reading

One of the recent reviews for the book

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 5 February 2020

Here is a book it is easy to dip into; I love history told in an amusing way and this book does that whilst it is also very informative. In many ways it is an eye opener and well worth the time spent.

Read the reviews and buy the book : Amazon UK

And on Amazon US: Amazon US

Follow Mike on : Goodreads

Connect to Mike via his blog: Bit About Britain

The next author with a recent review, is Vashti Quiroz-Vega for the first book in the Fantasy Angels Series – The Fall of Lilith.

About The Fall of Lilith:

So says Lilith, the most exquisite of the angels. The two most important pledges an angel makes to God are those of obedience and celibacy, and dire consequences await any who break their oaths.

At first, the angels are happy in their celestial home, learning and exploring together. As they grow older, though, Lilith begins to question these pledges, which now seem arbitrary and stifling. Her challenge of the status quo leads to disagreement, jealousy, and strife among her peers. As the arguing and acrimony grow, lines are drawn and sides are chosen. Is war inevitable?

Filled with robust characters, incredible landscapes, and exciting action, The Fall of Lilith is an epic tale of seduction, betrayal, and revenge.

Free Will involves asking difficult questions and making hard choices, choices that require strength and sacrifice. These decisions can tear apart friendships and cause rifts between allies.

They can even threaten the foundations of Heaven.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Brett 5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing world building Reviewed in the United States on February 13, 2020

Vashti Quiroz-Vega has created an amazing world and has a blended tale of fantasy and mythology. Her characters are engaging and you can trace their fall from grace and the steps each character took to get them into trouble. The main character Lilith is manipulative, self-serving and yet likable.

If you enjoy reading stories with great character development and fantastical worlds, you will want to read this book.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Also by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

and : Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Vashti : Goodreads

Connect to Vashti via her website: Vashti – WordPress

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope that you will be leaving with some books under your arm.. thanks Sally.